LEHMAN RAISES ESTIMATES FOR NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR
Lehman Brothers analyst Romit Shah says National Semiconductor (NSM) reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results, and guided above consensus for the first quarter and fiscal year 2009. He says fourth quarter EPS strength is due to an uptick in wireless and better gross margin.
Shah notes gross margin beat expectations again at 65.9%, vs. his estimate of 64%, due to improved efficiencies from manufacturing and better product/pricing mix. Management targets further margin improvement to 65%-70%.
He says guided fiscal year 2009 EPS increase of 15%-20% growth is due mainly to better manufacturing efficiencies, product mix, higher utilization, and tight operating expense control. He raises $1.15 fiscal year 2009 (May) EPS estimate to $1.52. He raises price target to 30 from 24. He rates the stock overweight.
CREDIT SUISSE DOWNGRADES CALAMOS ASSET MANAGEMENT TO UNDERPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL
Credit Suisse analyst Craig Siegenthaler says Calamos Asset Management's (CLMS) reliance on U.S. retail distribution in a period of weakening economic growth, management turnover, and expensive stock valuation has him more cautious on CLMS despite strong relative fund performance.
He notes 88% of assets managed are held by retail investors; he thinks these are at above-average risk, as he believes industry equity assets in the retail distribution channel face the highest level of net flow deterioration in periods of rising unemployment and falling home prices.
The analyst botes CLMS share price has risen by 50% since March 2008 trough, and its 25 multiple is now in line with those of best-in-class managers T. Rowe Price (TROW) and BlackRock (BLK). He keeps 20 price target on the stock.